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Roncalli parents confused over if children can wear anything ‘rainbow’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Roncalli parents are questioning what their children can wear to school.

Students claim during Wednesday’s morning announcement, there was some mention that they were not allowed to wear "rainbow-colored" gear. Many students and staff have been wearing rainbow clothing to show support for suspended guidance counselor, Shelly Fitzgerald.

“We don’t know what was said, we weren’t there. Our kids were there. With morning announcements either they’re halfway listening or they’re not or one kid is saying this and the other kid is saying that,” said Roncalli parent Angie Schultz.

Ms. Fitzgerald has been suspended since August 12, after school officials learned of her same-sex marriage. Roncalli has defended its stance, saying contracts clearly state employees must uphold the values of the Catholic church and that includes the marriage between a man and a woman.

Roncalli’s principal released a statement saying the "no rainbow" rumors are not true.

"Students were not told today, or any other day, they could no longer wear anything "rainbow" during school hours. In fact, since the start of Ms. Fitzgerald being placed on paid administrative leave, we have given students, teachers and staff who desire to show their support for Ms. Fitzgerald the leeway to do so,' said Roncalli Principal Chuck Weisenback.

It is unknown when a decision will be made on Ms. Fitzgerald’s job.

Principal Chuck Weisenbach issued another statement on Thursday, clarifying the school's stance:

I am sending this response as a means of clarifying communication at our school.

Since the start of Ms. Fitzgerald being placed on paid administrative leave, we have given students, teachers and staff leeway to show their support for her. Students continue to be allowed to wear rainbow attire and accessories in our school and to sporting events.

We believe there is a delicate balance between showing support for a staff member and advocating for a specific cause or political position. As such, signs hung throughout the school advertising and advocating for a "Pride Day" were removed earlier this week. We do not allow for this type of advocacy in our school, regardless of the cause or political position.

With regard to tomorrow night's home football game, students are allowed to wear the clothing of their choice. However, similar to the position taken by the first two schools we played this year, there will be no signs, posters, flags, banners allowed at the game or on campus. Cheerleaders will be allowed the use of spirit signs.

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